Thoughts

For those of you wondering why I am so vociferous in my support of Trayvon Martin…

Every day I teach, I work with young black men, most of whom are within three years of the age that Mr. Martin was when he was gunned down. Mr. Martin’s only crime was being black around someone who was a paranoid sociopath with anger management issues. That could have easily been one of my students. The attempts to smear Mr. Martin’s name by digging up a suspension (I have an immediate family member who was suspended once; if something bad happened to that person now, would it all be OK because he was suspended?) or tying him to an *empty* bag that had some marijuana residue in it is nothing short of victim-blaming. I am not asking that Mr. Zimmerman be convicted without due process; I am simply angry that, until this outcry, there was *no* due process for Mr. Martin. Again, *that could have been one of my students.*

So yeah, I’m angry about this. I am angry that a young unarmed man was killed. I am angry that, once again, our media and a good hunk of the right wing is happy to demonize said unarmed man for no other reason than a President they hate said something neutral-to-nice about him. I’m angry that normally decent people are quoting stuff that is sourced to Stormfront (a neo-Nazi website) about Mr. Martin being a “gangbanger” and “violent.” And I’m incredibly angry that people are engaging in deflection (“Al Sharpton! Duke lacrosse! New Black Panthers!”) instead of dealing with this incredible stain that is spreading fast. Look, kids – the New Black Panthers are three guys in Philly with a fax machine. People are only “scared” of them because Faux News tells them to be so. I’m pretty sure that the system *worked* in the Duke lacrosse case (and I’m not too awful worried about rich white kids landing on their feet – Mr. Martin will never be given a similar opportunity), and yes, Al Sharpton is a demagogue. Happy now?

WF

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